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Troubles Of News Corporation

  • July 16th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

rebekah-brooks.jpgThe resignation of Rebekah Brooks (picture), head of the United Kingdom branch of the Murdoch news corporation, 15.7.11, has generated fresh excitement and speculation over the company’s immediate future.

Members of Parliament from all political parties have been demanding the resignation, after revelations that newspapers in the company’s stable, News International, had been linked to criminal hacking of people’s telephones, to get stories.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who had made clear he wanted to see the resignation, indicated he thought it was the “best decision”.

He remains sensitive over his own employment of Andy Coulson, former editor of The News of the World, now under police investigation.

The Labour Party has come to life with now systematic demands for information on any engagement of senior management of News International in handling the computer-hacking exercise.

Mrs Brooks is expected to still be required to appear before a parliamentary Select Committee, looking into the case, this Tuesday.

With her will be the company principals, Rupert Murdoch (picture), founder of the parent company, News Corporation, and his son James Murdoch.

RUPERT MURDOCH “ANNOYED”

rupert-murdoch1.jpgMr Murdoch senior has been exercising the comparative luxury of giving interviews to media outlets that he personally owns; telling a very compliant interviewer on Fox Television he would be be discussing another subject, not that one, and telling the Wall Street Journal he was “annoyed” by developments in England, and would be establishing his integrity with the inquiry next week.

The two men had declined to go to the select committee, but were then served with summonses and on Thursday said they would attend.

It is understood they plan to place advertisements in several newspapers, carrying apologies for what has taken place.

Recapping developments:

news-of-world-logo.jpgPolice, in the latest round of investigations into the phone recordings, had arrested nine people, including former News International editors or journalists, by the weekend.

The British government has convened a Judicial Inquiry into the matter, and also an inquiry into media practices and possible future regulation of the press.

The newspaper at the centre of the storm, the mass circulation Sunday tabloid News of the World was closed down by the company last Sunday, 10.7.11.

bskyb.jpgNews International three days later withdrew its application to augment its controlling interest in the pay television network, B-Sky-B, to outright ownership.

News Corporation has its world headquarters in the United States, its current problems generating deep interest on the part of news media there, and legislators.

Several Senators and members of Congress have called for a police investigation by the FBI, into any possibility of computer hacking being done for journalists with the company.

The company in Australia has objected to calls by the Green Party and other interests for an  inquiry into its affairs, and media bias, saying its political coverage was democratically “taking it up to the government”.

See EUAustralia Online: “News of the World Affair”, 8.7.11; “B-Sky-B Affair”, 14.7.11.

Reference

Associated Press, NY, “UK PM David Cameron’s spokesman calls the resignation of Rebekah Brooks the right decision”, 15.7.11.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/uk-pm-david-camerons-spokesman-calls-the-resignation-of-rebekah-brooks-the-right-decision/2011/07/15/gIQAzynmFI_story.html, (15.7.11).

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Robert Hutton and Thomas Penny, “James Murdoch Faces Scrutiny From U.K. Lawmakers as Rebekah Brooks Resigns”, Bloomberg, NY, 15.7.11. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-15/james-murdoch-faces-scrutiny-from-u-k-lawmakers-as-rebekah-brooks-resigns.html, (15.7.11).

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